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Re: Sprawl, speed etc



> True.  However, based on automobile test runs, it has been shown that the
> farther out one puts the wheels, the better the handling (take a look at some 
> of
> Chrysler's new models, for example).  This doesn't mean that a high 
> speed/erect
> posture animal won't be able to evolve adjustments to a more upright form, 
> just
> that the upright form will be more unstable (creating different 
> opportunities).
> This is simply adapting to differing evolutionary pressures.  I suggest that 
> the
> ceratopians were simply more *efficent* at high speeds, due to their inherent
> stability.
> 
> I'm afraid that dune buggy manufacturers disagree.  Tires on these vehicles 
> only
> make contact with the ground at four relatively small points (relative to
> vehicle size).  I simply make the suggestion that the two morphologies are
> analogous to each other, evolving/designing to overcome the same conditions.

     I'm forced to point out that ceratopsians were not automobiles.  
Legs and wheels do not move or propell thier owners in the same way.  An 
automobile's wheels are a fixed distance apart, so setting them far apart 
is a safe bet from a stability standpoint.  An animal can move its legs 
around to deal with a any number of situations.  Unlike a vehicle with a 
stiff metal axle and wheels, a ceratopsian could 
alter the position and movement of its legs to make a tight turn or go 
down a steep slope.      

LN Jeff